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7 Habits of Highly Successful Sales Professionals

BySesan Kareem,
business.com writer
|
Jan 10, 2020
Image Credit: bernardbodo/Getty
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Want to be one of the best salespeople? Makes these seven habits part of your life.

There is no business success without sales success. Innovation and good marketing lead to sales growth. In order to achieve remarkable business revenue, profit and growth, it is pertinent to understand what separates highly successful sales professionals from the rest of the pack and what habits incredibly successful sales executives and managers have developed and mastered.

When considering this, here are major factors to remember:

1. Incredibly successful sales professionals have developed good habits that stand them out in the midst of the multitudes. Just like any habit, these habits can be learned, developed and applied.

2. Sales profession is a challenging profession but is also pretty rewarding for those who are goal oriented, success driven, emotionally stable, customer focused, great communicator and master prospecting and closing.

3. Becoming a highly successful sales professional is not a short term project but a long time commitment. Therefore, developing habits of successful sales professionals will guarantee success in the long run in your business.

I often asked questions from sales professionals during my sales training, the "selling with kindness program," on what determines success in sales and the answers I received often included:

  • Good personality
  • Confidence
  • Product Knowledge
  • Time Management
  • Hard work

While the above traits play some important roles in sales success, it doesn’t explain why two salespeople in the same company, selling the same products, with the same experience, same compensation package, same qualification and same training perform differently. One salesperson can sell three times than another in the same year. You see, good personality, confidence, product knowledge, time management and hard work are the effects not the causes; they have more to do with who you are and what you do than what you know.

Here are seven habits of highly successful sales professionals and how you can develop these habits.

1. Be goal-oriented

Highly successful sales professionals set SMART sales goals. They have goal clarity. They know exactly what sales they have to make weekly and monthly to achieve their sales target for the year. They don’t just set written goals; they also have a plan of action on how to achieve their goals. They know the number of prospects to see weekly and the quantity of products to sell weekly. They often review their performance on a weekly basis and re-adjust their course of action until they get their desired results. They attached their goals to genuine reasons that will motivate them to keep striving hard and never give up on their sales target and reward themselves appropriately when they achieve their set objectives. Successful sales professionals believe they can achieve their goals and are determined to do what it requires ethically to achieve them.

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals that inspire and challenge you to grow and become better as sales professional. Read your written goals in the morning and night. Make sure your goals contain daily action plan and weekly review. Attached your sales goals to genuine reasons that will enable you not to give during tough times. Plan appropriate reward for yourself when you achieve your sales target. Celebrate your small wins. Use your imagination to see the actualization of your goals. . Believe in your ability to achieve your goals.

2. Be success-driven

Highly successful sales professionals are success driven because they have clear expectations of what they want to achieve and where they want to be in the future. In the pursuit of their goals, they are able to develop the achievement drive required for success. Because they believe in themselves and their ability to turn their goals to results they often tap into their innate potentials and find ways to turn their invisible goals into visible results. They are determined, committed, dedicated and resourceful in the pursuit of sales excellence. Successful sales executives and professionals have developed the right psychology to overcome sales rejection, temporal failure and setbacks. They have good self-image and self-confidence and are ready to pay the price of success in advance.

Make up your mind to become a leader in your company and industry. Read books, listen to audio messages, attend seminars and work with a coach or mentor that will help you realise, unleash and unlock your true genius as a human being. See rejection, setback and failure as necessary and important part of sales success. Develop your self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence. Be success driven. Be result-oriented.

3. Remain emotionally stable

Highly successful sales consultants and professionals have developed emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence leads to emotional stability. They have developed their ability to face rejection on the field and use the rejection as a fuel for acceptance of their ideas, products or services. They have mastered the ability to study their client’s emotional state, body language, facial expression, fear, worry and expectation and use them to their advantage. Respected sales professionals are those who use their emotions to their benefits not the other way. They are conscious enough to identify, interpret, understand and manage their emotions and their prospect state of mind. They are always cool, calm and relaxed. 

Start paying grave attention to your emotional state. Document on how you feel when you are in front of your prospect. Identify how you can face rejection and difficult prospects in a calm manner. Develop your emotional vocabulary. Work on your emotional state through repeated affirmations and imagination. Become immune to feeling negative about setbacks and rejection. Become a highly emotionally intelligent sales professional.

4. Build relationships

Incredibly successful sales professionals have excellent interpersonal skills. They have mastered the habit of great social skill. They build solid relationship with their customers. They show empathy, care and understanding towards customers. Highly successful sales executives have learned how to identify their customers behavioural traits and adjust themselves to march this trait. They have a listening ear and go extra mile to show their customers that they have their best interest at heart. Sale is people’s business and having a satisfying relationship with your customers significantly affect sales performance. Therefore, the acclaimed sales professionals develop good relationship with customers. They are customer focused and service oriented. They believe in customer’s satisfaction and experience. In this light, customers trust them, believe them and they are always willing to do business with them.

Be kind, nice and humble, it pays. Build satisfying relationship with your customers. Show genuine care and understanding towards your clients. Always be interested in their progress. Share ideas that will help them or their business to thrive. Focus on identifying their needs and filling these needs faster, better and cheaper. Let them see you as a confidant, friend and advisor. Let them know you as a partner in progress.

5. Always be prospecting

Remarkably successful sales professionals have developed and mastered the ability to identify customers who are qualified for their solutions. They can easily identify their ideal customers who have a need, who is interested in a solution, has the ability to make purchasing decision and also the financial strength to buy the solution. They keep looking out for new prospects on a regularly basis. They invest time and energy on the right customers. They work smart, focus on productivity over activity and achievement over movement. They are very strategic with their sales approach. They have taken their time to study and understand their ideal customers and their needs.

Develop your prospecting skills. Learn how to quickly differentiate between a suspect and a prospect. Seek new prospects on a weekly basis. Focus on productivity and results. Be strategic with your sales approach. Work smart. Know your ideal customers.

6. Maintain open lines of communication

Successful sales professionals are great communicators. They know how to effectively communicate their product’s benefits, features and comparative advantages to their customers with clarity, conviction and calmness. They have developed their presentation skill to be world class. They are good interviewers. They have mastered interviewing skills. They ask their clients the right questions that help them to discover their real needs so that they can be able to proffer the right solutions. They also write a lot. They take their customers serious by jotting down some important points during their one on one discussion. They also listen closely to their customers. 

Improve on your presentation skills by practising your sales pitch consistently. Work on your interviewing skills. Jot down some information during your one on presentation and go through your jottings later. Be a good listener. Develop your communication skills.

7. Always work to close the sale

Until sale is close, every other thing is just by the way. Highly successful sales managers and professionals are not afraid to ask for a buying decision. They have mastered various ways to ask their customers to take action during their presentation. They quickly notice customer’s concerns and fear of making buying decisions. They know how to negotiate terms and conditions effectively. They follow up on their customers closely. They have also developed effective closing strategies.

Horn your closing skills. Ask for buying decisions in various ways during your presentation. Discuss any fear of buying or concerns with your customers. Let them know how the benefits outweigh the price. 

Out of these seven habits of highly successful sales professionals, which ones have you mastered. Which ones do you need to seriously work on and develop? Your ability to achieve great success in sales is unlimited. You can become a respected sales professional if you learn, develop and master these habits. You can double your annual profit and accelerate your business growth if you focus on sales success.

Sesan Kareem
Sesan Kareem
See Sesan Kareem's Profile
Sesan Kareem is a distinguished Pharmacist, Wellness Expert, prolific Author, certified Trainer, public Administrator, management Consultant, master Motivator and social Entrepreneur.  Sesan is a catalyst for GROWTH and an inspiration for personal fulfilment. He is a UK-published, EU-copyrighted and Amazon-marketed Author who has written 7 life-transforming books. He is being regarded as one of the most provocative African speakers of contemporary age. Sesan Kareem is an EXPERT freelance Trainer of London Professional Training Centre (LPTC), Nigeria. A certified Leadership, Management and SME personnel by Global Leadership Training Institute, Nebraska, Omaha, and an alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy (DLA), Lagos. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and International Award in Delivering Training ( IADT) from Highfield Award Body for Compliance (HABC), United Kingdom and Master in Public Administration with bias for Human Resources Management from the University of Lagos.  Sesan serves as a board member of Haven Leadership Academy, Safe Medicines Foundation, Mareek Image Concepts  and EMQ Trials, Nigeria.  A wellness and healthy living facilitator of Industrial Training Fund (ITF). SK served as the personal assistant to Ahmed I. Yakasai, The President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (2015-2018). He is a columnist in pharmanews, the oldest health magazine in West Africa (Published since 1979). His articles have featured in many national and international tabloids.  He is the Founder of Mareek Image Concepts and the Co-founder of Zahra Lingerie. He is widely travelled within and outside the country. As a health and life strategist, he inspires over 1,000,000 people annually on radio, television, social media, conferences and corporate training. Sesan has trained multinationals, large and medium organizations in pharmaceutical, FMCG, banking, beauty, retail and telecommunication industries. He is the convener, Achievers Forum and “Motivating The Nigerian Youth” a movement that has trained over 4,000 young Nigerians for FREE.  Sesan is happily married to a pharmacist and blessed with a daughter.
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